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Sights and Sounds: The 2018 PyeongChang Closing Ceremony

Sights and Sounds: The 2018 PyeongChang Closing Ceremony

The sun set on the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics with a colorful celebration centered around peace and looking toward the future

With competition complete and all events decided, the world's elite winter athletes once again converged on PyeongChang Olympic Stadium as the 2018 Olympic Games culminated with the Closing Ceremony Sunday night in South Korea.

WATCH THE CLOSING CEREMONY

Live stream the Closing Ceremony, in its entirety, and take in all the sights and sounds of the finale to the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics. 

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A THEME OF PEACE

The 2018 Closing Ceremony featured a number of themes, all centered around an optimistic and peaceful future.

With plenty of K-Pop stars, DJs and dancing, the uptempo farewell featured 900 cast and crew (compared to 1,200 in the Opening Ceremony) and was geared to draw on images of peace to inspire the next wave of athletes from around the world. 

Before officially closing the Winter Olympics, IOC President Thomas Bach called these "the Games of new horizons" and asked for faith in the future.

UNITY

As they did in the Opening Ceremony North and South Korea marched together under the Korean Unification Flag. 

Iconic moments like the Opening Ceremony handshake between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kim Yo-jong (sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un), and the women's hockey team playing as a unified group will reamin signature moments from these Olympics. And the hope is that these moments will help build the foundation for the bridge that brings North and South Korea together. 

RUSSIA

Athletes from Russia were denied their request to march under their country's flag. The IOC extended its ban, forcing the individuals to march under the Olympic rings flag as "Olympic Athletes from Russia." Two Russian athletes tested positive for doping in PyeongChang -- the only two cases of the Games.

"The IOC would have considered lifting the suspension because the OAR delegation has respected the December 5 decision. However, two athletes failed doping tests here in Pyeongchang," Bach said. "This was hugely disappointing and prevented the IOC lifting the suspension."

ON TO BEIJING

The Olympic flag was officially lowered and replaced with that of the next Winter Olympics host country -- China. 

The Olympic flag will next be raised in Beijing on Feb. 4, 2022, after the capital of China was selected to host the 2022 Games over Almaty, Kazakhstan. 

 

DRONE SHOW

At the end of the parade, a fleet of 300 Intel Shooting Star drones took flight for another light show. 

They formed the mascot of the PyeongChang Olympics, Soohorang, who made a heart with his hands before the drones morphed into a giant beating heart.

 

SPECIAL GUESTS

Lindsey Vonn and Pita Taufatofua were among a handful of athletes representing different nations to join Bach for a photo as his closing speach concluded.

Taufatofua, as he is wont to do for Olympic ceremonies, was shirtless and oiled wearing the traditional Tongan ta'ovala.



Closing Ceremony

Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee, and Lee Hee-beom, President & CEO of PyeongChang Organizing Committee stand on the stage with Lindsey Vonn of the United States, Pita Taufatofua of Tonga and Olympic athletes during the Closing Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Credit: Getty Images

EXTINGUISHING OF THE OLYMPIC FLAME

Soohorang on a snowmobile, snow globes, and the same five children from the Opening Ceremony marked a dreamy winter scene that reflected on imagery from the top moments from these Games. And the Olympic flame was extinguished as "snow" fell on the cauldron.

USA GARB

The United States entered the Closing Ceremony wearing white puffy bomber jackets accented by knit beanies and American flag bandanas. The outfit, again by Ralph Lauren, was designed to capture vibes from various decades for an "All-American style."



Shibutanis

Alex and Maia Shibutani showcase the United States Closing Ceremony garb. Credit: Ralph Lauren

 

IN PICTURES

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